AP Human Geography : Regional Variations

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Human Geography

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Regional Variations

What is the main reason the vast majority of Australia's population lives along its coastlines rather than in its interiors?

Possible Answers:

Natural disasters have significantly reduced the population of Australia's interior.

The interior of Australia is largely barren scrubland with few natural resources.

Economic development encouraged the growth of cities on the coastlines over the formerly large cities of the interior.

The location of Australia's major cities was largely planned by British authorities who had never visited the continent.

Australia's coastlines are much easier to reach from foreign nations due to geographical advantages.

Correct answer:

The interior of Australia is largely barren scrubland with few natural resources.

Explanation:

Since Australia's colonization by the British government in the eighteenth century, the vast majority of Australia's population has lived along the coastlines. The interior of Australia, known as the Outback, is largely barren land with few natural resources or advantages. The natural harbors and resource-rich locations were first settled by European colonists and are still the home of Australia's significant population centers.

Example Question #2 : Regional Variations

Which of the following is a major reason Western Europe has featured lower fertility rates than other parts of the world?

Possible Answers:

Large welfare states

Better employment opportunities

Increased food supplies

Temperate climates

Secularization

Correct answer:

Secularization

Explanation:

Fertility rates rise and fall for a variety of reasons and differ greatly for a variety of reasons. Western Europe has for the last few decades had the lowest fertility rates in the world, which could have a variety of causes, including secularization, which made the religious encouragement for larger families less important.

Example Question #1 : Regional Variations

In the last one hundred years, life expectancy has __________.

Possible Answers:

increased, but only significantly in the developed world

decreased in the developing world and increased in the developed world

decreased in the developed world and increased in the developing worldwide

increased dramatically worldwide

increased, but only significantly in the developing world

Correct answer:

increased dramatically worldwide

Explanation:

The global life expectancy is currently in the low 60s, around 63 or 64. Of course, the life expectancy in the developed world is usually in the high 70s and in the developing world it can be closer to 50 or even 40, and this imbalance is one of the great social ills of our times; however, it is worth remembering that in the last one hundred years, life expectancy has soared around the world. In the early twentieth century, the global life expectancy was between 40 and 45.

Example Question #3 : Regional Variations

In which of these regions is the population growing the fastest?

Possible Answers:

Western Europe

East Asia

Sub-Saharan Africa

North America

Eastern Europe

Correct answer:

Sub-Saharan Africa

Explanation:

In Western Europe and North America, the population is basically steady; it is neither climbing nor shrinking dramatically. In Eastern Europe, the population is shrinking. In parts of East Asia, the population is climbing slowly. In Sub-Saharan Africa (as well as South Asia), the population is skyrocketing.

Example Question #4 : Regional Variations

In 2014, which of these countries experienced the fastest population growth?

Possible Answers:

Bolivia

Afghanistan

Vietnam

India

Qatar

Correct answer:

Qatar

Explanation:

In 2014, Qatar experienced the fastest population growth in the world. The population of Qatar increases by as much as ten percent every year. Qatar is a very small country in the Middle East that has recently undergone a revolutionary growth in economic prosperity. Much of Qatar’s rampant population growth is being driven by immigrants arriving from South Asia in search of work.

Example Question #4 : Regional Variations

Over the course of the twenty-first century, which continent is expected to witness the largest population growth?

Possible Answers:

South America

North America

Europe

Africa

Asia

Correct answer:

Africa

Explanation:

Almost every geographer and demographer agrees that over the course of the twenty-first century Africa will witness by far the largest population growth. Some demographers expect the population of the continent to quadruple, from a bit over one billion to more than four billion people. That means there will be three billion more Africans alive in 2100 than were alive in 2000. To put that into context, over the same time period, the combined populations of Asia, North America, and South America are projected to grow by a little less than one billion!

Example Question #5 : Regional Variations

Most of the world’s fastest growing countries are located in __________.

Possible Answers:

Africa

Europe

Asia

South America

North America

Correct answer:

Africa

Explanation:

Almost all of the world’s fastest growing countries can be found in Africa. Africa is the least developed continent on Earth, but it is rapidly developing in recent years. Many countries in Africa are experiencing stage 2 of the demographic transition model; where death rates are starting to fall, but birth rates remain steadily high. This leads to massive population growth.

Example Question #5 : Regional Variations

Which of the following hypothetical areas would have the shortest doubling time?

Possible Answers:

A more-developed country with a high birth rate and high mortality rate.

A less-developed country with a low birth rate and low mortality rate.

A more-developed country with a high birth rate and medium mortality rate.

A more-developed country with a low birth rate and low mortality rate.

A less-developed country with a high birth rate and low mortality rate.

Correct answer:

A less-developed country with a high birth rate and low mortality rate.

Explanation:

Less developed countries often experience greater population growth because they are in the "infancy stage" of development. In addition, countries with a high birth rate and low mortality rate will have a shorter doubling time because number of births will greatly exceed the number of deaths. 

Example Question #7 : Regional Variations

What are of the world is often seen as undergoing a population implosion?

Possible Answers:

Europe

Middle East

Asia

South America

Correct answer:

Europe

Explanation:

To undergo a population implosion entails that the population is decreasing, hugely due to a higher death rate than a birth rate. Europe has definitely been going through this for years. The other mentioned others have been more going through populations explosions, with growing populations.

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